Got love for beautiful waterfalls? If yes, you’re not alone. Waterfalls are stunning natural wonders on Earth and visiting them might turn out to be a breathtaking experience that you’re unlikely to forget. You’ll be glad to know that Portland’s wet winter weather has an amazing side effect — it brings about a steady stream of cascades running throughout the region! What could be better?
So, if you’re game, you would want to stock your Ruckjack with supplies and take a 45-minute drive off Portland to explore the top five falls on the list. Just so you know, you can access all five by traveling east from Portland along the Route 30 Columbia River Highway — you’re barely an hour away from the astonishing mountain range and the rugged Pacific Ocean.
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1- Latourell Falls
Our first stop is the Latourell Falls, one of the most picturesque in the Gorge that you wouldn’t want to miss. It features a pattern of joints which came as a result of stress when lava cooled and contracted. You’ll surely love the sight of the exciting prisms and columns over which the falls drop. For the most part, the lower Latourell Falls drops 240 feet while the upper Latourell Falls which are concealed in the trees above cascade down about 100 feet. Looking to explore the Upper Falls? It’s pretty simple — you only need to walk an 8-mile trail to check it out.
2- Multnomah Falls
Ready for an adventure of a lifetime? If yes, you only have to head to the 627 feet high Multnomah Falls — it’s the tallest in Oregon and most popular in Portland. The good thing is, a 30-minute drive from Portland will take you to this beautiful waterfall and from there, you can explore just about everything it offers. The best part? It’s all up to you to decide how you want to behold this beauty — you can hike the 2.6 miles or view it from the ground.
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3- Shepperd’s Dell
Next up is this magical fall which rushes under the Young Creek Bridge — just its view from narrow pathway is enough to draw you in and keep you hooked! The good thing is, the tiered waterfalls is only one mile from Latourell Falls, making it a win-win for you. For the most part, it boasts a lower horsetail formation that plunges 40 to 60 feet, and the upper falls drop 35 to 50 feet. This is one of the best and most beautiful falls you wouldn’t want to miss it the course of your hiking adventure.
4- Bridal Veil Falls
You’ll find this beauty right off the Columbia Gorge Highway — it’s just 1.5 miles further east on Route from Shepperd’s Dell Falls. To view these silky satin falls, you would want to plan on hiking up to 2.2 miles round trip. You can also choose to head back to Interstate 84 to get totally immersed in its beauty right from the highway! To sum it up, the Bridal Veil Falls features an abrupt drop whose upper falls drop up to 100 feet and lower falls cascades 60 feet.
5- Wahclella Falls
Last but definitely not the least is the Wahclella Falls — the trail is more like an off the beaten track which has a lovely scenery. It only takes a 2-mile loop hike to reach this stunning waterfall — the amazing view is the reward of all your hard work! The bottom of Wahclella Falls provides the best view — from there you can see the horizon breaking through the astonishing mossy haven you’re standing in.
So there you have it. Now you’re all set to enjoy these wonderful Portland beauties — just throw on your RuckJack, hit the road and have fun!